Strauss demands England improve for South Africa

ENGLAND captain Andrew Strauss conceded his team would need to raise their intensity to face South Africa after their third Test against West Indies ended in a draw.

Three of the Test’s five days were impeded by heavy rain but even before yesterday’s downpours the final meeting of the series – with England previously possessing a 2-0 lead – appeared set to finish in a stalemate.

Strauss’s side may have secured series victory at the earliest possible opportunity but the captain is regardless dissatisfied and has demanded they improve ahead of their one-day fixtures against West Indies and Australia before a more demanding Test series against South Africa.

“We certainly didn’t get everything right while we were out there in the field,” said Strauss. “There are areas we need to sharpen up on – obviously we dropped a few catches, you don’t want to be in a situation when number 11 gets 95 all that often and we found ourselves under a bit of pressure with the bat.

“But I thought Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell batted very well, Steven Finn and Graham Onions aquitted themselves exceptionally well and it was great to have them back in the side.

“Over the course of the three matches there were a lot of things to be very happy about but we are aware that we have to improve our standards a bit before the SA series starts.”

One of the series’ talking points was Denesh Ramdin’s controversial message to Sir Viv Richards but his stunt has come at a personal cost after the wicketkeeper was fined 20% of his match fee.

Ramdin pleaded guilty to breaching the International Cricket Council’s Code of Conduct after holding up a paper note in an apparent response to criticism from Richards. It read: “Yeah Viv talk nah.”